Hypermiling refers to driving to improve your car’s gas mileage. You do this by increasing the efficiency of the engine, reducing aerodynamic drag, using gravity and friction to your advantage, and avoiding energy loss that happens through braking. Hypermiling done right can improve your gas mileage by up to 37 percent. Of course, you need to follow traffic laws and use good common sense regardless of your driving habits.
• Drive smart by accelerating slowly at green lights and coasting to a stop at stop signs or red lights.
• Use cruise control for speeds over 40 mph. It helps you stay off the accelerator.
• Do not use cruise control on hilly roads. The cruise settings make the engine work harder to go up hills.
• Coast as much as possible.
• Choose routes with the fewest number of stops so you have less stop-and-go driving.
On trips with multiple stops go to the furthest destination first. Make the rest of your stops in a logical order on the return trip.
• Go faster down hills and slower up the hills. Use gravity to your advantage.
• Drive at or below the speed limit.
• Park for easy departure from parking lots. Choose the first spot you see, regardless of distance from the entrance. Park facing out so you can use gravity to help move you from the parking space.
• Keep your tires correctly inflated at all times. Align and balance the tires.
• Keep your car well maintained. Use the lowest viscosity of oil recommended by the manufacturer. Use synthetic oil and do oil changes as recommended by the owner’s manual of the car.
• Reduce the amount of weight in the trunk of the car.
• Use high-performance iridium-tipped spark plugs for better burning of gas in the combustion chamber.
• Consider driving with ½ to ¼ a tank of gas. This reduces weight without diminishing the life of the fuel pump.
• Avoid contributing to traffic congestion and traffic jams.
• Carpool whenever possible.
• Keep a mileage journal to track your improvements.
• Use air conditioning only over 45 mph. Try cycling it on and off if you can.
• Avoid extreme hypermiling techniques like tailgating semis. These methods can endanger you and others.
• Don’t stop on a hill heading upwards. Starting from a dead stop on a hill kills gas mileage.
• Don’t race towards red lights or traffic blockages. Start easing up on the accelerator as soon as you know you will have to stop or slow down.
• Don’t idle. Turn off your engine if you are stopped for more than 60 seconds. This alone can improve your gas mileage by up to 19 percent.
• Don’t idle to warm up your car in cold weather. Just drive gently for five to ten minutes.
• Don’t drive on windy days if you can help it.
• Don’t try to hypermile during rain or snow. It is dangerous.
• Don’t tailgate a semi truck. It can kill you. Stay at least two seconds behind the truck.
• Don’t drive under the speed limit in heavy traffic where other cars cannot safely pass. This is very dangerous.